Which LS3/5a?

I would like to add one more speaker to my small group of speakers and I am considering my first LS3/5a.  The Rogers LS3/5a SE or Falcons Gold Badge appear to be the two that have caught my attention but I am open to any suggestions from owners of other brands of ls3/5a's.  Currently I have been enjoying a Dynaudio Heritage Special speakers and would like to buy a ls3/5a and compare the two and keep one set of speakers.  So any LS35a owners out there?


Rogers LS3/5a! I have a pair. Bought on eBay from a seller in Lithuania (!) for $960. I first listened to the Rogers back in 1976 at Audiocom in CT. The price then was $450/pr. Now they sell for around $1800 used. That’s a good price compared to a new pair of the Falcon’s. The LS3/5a would make a great desert island speaker paired with an original NAD 3020 (which I also owned back in the day).

You should also consider the Chartwell and Goodman's versions, along with KEF. 

i prefer the higher impedance models of ls3/5a if memory serves correctly, it has been many years

that said, proac super tablettes out-perform the 3/5a in every important aspect...

it is what put stu tyler and proac on the map in the late 80's

There is a friend who goes by LS3/5a on another (SH) forum who has owned a number of these fabled models over the years who you could reach out to.

If I recall from a recent conversation, he is of the opinion that the bigger box offering from Falcon is the bee’s knees.

”Designed by Malcolm Jones and sold by Falcon for many years, the updated Q7 features the same Falcon B110 and T27 drive units as used in the Falcon LS3/5a in a specially extended LS3/5a-type cabinet to produce an optimum Q=0.7 system with extra bass compared to the LSA3/5a (+2dB @ 50 Hz).”


Post removed 

I own a pair of Graham Chartwell LS3/5. (Not A) wonderful speakers.  On that note, I do not believe you can make a bad choice, as long as said speakers are functioning properly.  Enjoy the magic! 

I first heard the LS3/5a (the first, 15 ohm version) when I lived in London in 1979 and was much enchanted with the sound, though I didn't buy a pair.   Fast forward to 2022, and I was considering a set of the current Falcons -- I just didn't have enough faith to buy a pair of the used originals, especially at their current prices, as things do age, and there is always the question of who did what to them during the past 40+ years.

However, I ended up stumbling across a mint pair of year-old Spendor 4/5s that I got at a great price -- $1,500 instead of the $2,800 list price.  They have all the magic of the original LS3/5a speakers, but with far superior bass and dynamic range.  If I was limited to a single pair of small bookshelves, I wouldn't hesitate to base my only system around these.

@bobheinatz  -- not directly, but having heard various versions of the LS3/5a over the years, there is no doubt in my mind that the new Spendor has the same wonderful midrange of the LS3/5a plus the advantages mentioned above.  So, count me a happy camper.

That said, I know that others may reach a different conclusion. Sometimes the lure of owning a pure version of a legendary classic is simply too great to ignore. That's a decision each person must reach on their own.

Agreeing with Missti on the Spendor Classic 4/5’s. Just got a pair and very pleased.

I have an extensive collection of LS3/5a monitors. IMHO the very limited Falcon KINGSWOOD WARREN EDITION is the best, and not by a small margin! For vintage examples, I still favor the CHARTWELL only if in great condition. I also like the warmer balance of the Graham LS3/5 with the partnered Graham passive subwoofers, but it does lower the impedance with the subs. So for lower powered tubes, the monitors alone are preferable. It’s been a love affair since my first Rogers 15 ohm in the late 1970’s! 

Hello @bobheinatz 

i have (and still own) a pair of 15ohm Rogers walnut 3/5a(1990) and a pair of Harbeth Rosewood (special edition) 11ohm (1994) 

1. I found them perform the best with Foundation speaker stands , without a proper stand , they don’t throw a “larger than box” soundstage. With proper stands and placement ( and high current amps) they can be a profound experience. 

2. They produce the sweetest vocals when paired with tube amps imho, I used Jadis , Conrad-Johnson amps back in the 90s and no other ss amps can produce that density and fluidity , that’s why I think many audiophiles are so addicted to 3/5a and I had seen people using 000thousands worth of equipment to drive them. 
But the downside is at the end they are bookshelf and BBC designed them for close monitoring at remote sites. They don’t can give you a full orchestra experience or the lowest frequency due to physical limitation. 
Be willing to feed them with high current amps and they will reward you greatly ! 

3. If you are after vintage 3/5a be sure to check the seals are still flexible. Different brands seem to use better crossover components and different veneer produce slightly different SQ ( the rosewood / ebony can go a little deeper bass, walnuts tend to give a more relaxed vocals) 

above are just my personal experience, enjoy the journey ! 

I have a pair of original Chartwells (with a spare NOS woofer) that were given to me. Great speakers!  I only wish they would play louder in my big room as I fear burning them out.  (They are in mint/like new condition.)  Obviously, that is not what they are intended for.

timstella & eddiechanghk,

Thank you both for your informative replies.   It sounds like tubes are the way to drive these monitors.   I have read about the Kingswood Warren Edition  and its quite unanimous that their owners all believe it's the best LS35a ever produced.  I believe there is still a market for another assault on making the best ever LS35a.  Rogers new SE model appears to be an attempt in that direction.  I would be ready to pony up if Falcon every build a few mire Kingswood's.

Hello Bob, with the risk to sound Heretic, to the purists, I suggest you check out the sound Artist type from China, they cost 600 dollars and in various you tube reviews from Zero Fidelity and Jay are said to be very similar to the original ones at a fraction of the price. Also seller is very professional, I have a pair since a couple of years and very satisfied.  https://www.china-hifi-audio.com/soundartist-amplifier-speaker-c-78/soundartist-ls3-5a-monitor-bookshelf-speakers-loudspeakers-pair-p-2320

I’ve owned many versions of the LS3/5A including the original Kef, Spendor and Harbeth. Why futz around? If you want the real thing the Falcon is what you should get!




"I am completely convinced that Jones and Bloomfield have done everything humanly and technologically possible to make theirs a one-hundred-percent, dyed-in-the-wool, pure-quill original LS3/5a."

The Absolute Sound, May/June 2016 - Paul Seydor


The Falcon Acoustics Classic 15 ohm LS3/5a, fully Licenced by the BBC, and hand-assembled by Falcon in Oxford England. It is the only LS3/5a now in production that is recognised by top reviewers to faithfully replicate the original design published by the BBC in October 1976.

The result of nearly 2 years development, the Falcon LS3/5a is a true British-made classic 15 ohm LS3/5a. It continues the long tradition of the genuine British BBC-Licenced LS3/5a stretching back to the 1960’s.

The drive units are the renowned Falcon B110, and the Falcon T27 tweeter, both designed by Malcolm Jones, the original designer of the KEF B110 and KEF T27 that were specified in the original 15 ohm LS3/5a version designed by the BBC.  Both drive units are handmade in the UK to ensure the highest quality, grading and consistency, and are identical to the original LS3/5a drive units. They are unique to Falcon.

The matched 15 ohm BBC Specification FL6/23 filter networks are made exclusively by Falcon in the original transformer-style to BBC Specification and contain inductors specially made in Britain for Falcon to the original specification.

The cabinets are made from specially selected graded Baltic Ply, and use Beech fillets Cabinets. They are British made to BBC Specification, and are available in a variety of natural wood veneers (see below for pictures of current veneers) with a Tygan Cloth front grille.




Thanks for all that have replied.   I really appreciate the feedback.   Any others?

Post removed 

Falcon Gold Badge as mentioned Yogiboy looks like the one to beat but I am still interested in how tge Rogers SE would compare. 

I’ve owned a pair of Falcon silver badge LS3/5a for about five years.  They’re the only LS3/5a I’ve owned so I can’t compare them to other versions.  I can tell you they’re wonderful speakers.  I use them in a smaller room near-field set up.  They encourage long listening sessions.  


Post removed 

Thank you Garyalex for you opinion.  I am looking for a speaker that I can just listen to for hours.  Alot of good reviews in the Silver Badge Falcons.

Great discussion. In the mid '80s I bought a pair of Rogers branded speakers that I thought after all this time were LS3/5as and loved them. I drove them with a Hafler DH-200 and a CJ PV-2. They played loud with great detail and warmth, plenty of bass and slam if I remember. But imaging, soundstage we're just OK (traded them for DCM Time Window 1As to solve that issue). Anyway, from this thread now I don't think they were LS3/5as as they weren't bookshelf size. They were like 2ft tall (still had them on stands and well away from the wall in my apartment) and they were maybe a foot-ish deep. Was there a bigger version? 

I own and still occasionally use a 15 ohm 1984 Rogers LS3/5a as well as the new Falcon Gold Badges.  


When I compare the two, my old Rogers, (which were tested to be in-spec annually by the CBS Broadcasting studio I bought them from) sound soft, and slightly blurred. Not nearly as concise and 'responsive' as the Falcons. No doubt  parts have slumped and dried and drifted.


Button,  when I switched from the regular Falcon LS3/5a to the Gold Badges I noticed a big improvement is focus (along with tone the reason for buying a 5a) and when I queried its creators they said the difference is the result of extreme  "pair matching" (like 0.2dB or something) ; which I would now say could be the most important measurable loudspeaker perimeter, I've encountered. 

I've also noticed the strong positive of pair-matching with planer-magnetic headphones. Technology that emerged in the last several years allows headphone diaphragms to be more evenly tensioned across their surfaces and this has led to a MUCH higher lever of focus and soundstage mapping precision. 

I mention all this, because I think we do get what we pay for. And with this BBC classic I suggest going with the highest quality of materials and the tightest manufacturing specification.  

peace and beauty




My buddy lives in the UK so I had him order me both the Graham 3/5A and Rogers SE version for about 1/2 of what they sell for here in the USA.  Looking forward to comparing down the road. The Rogers SE is delayed due to problems/issues at the factory so if you order a pair expect to be waiting awhile.  I ditched my Falcons...now called the Silver Badge version cause everybody I know that compared them to the Graham's preferred the Graham 3/5A in every aspect.

A little off topic, but I tried LS3/5As back in the 70s.  While they sounded good, I ended up with the Rogers JR149s with the cylindrical metal enclosure.  I believe the drivers may have been the same or similar but found the JR149s to be much less boxy sounding and to have incredible imaging.  I regretted selling them to a friend in the 80s.  They are still sounding great in his second home.

I gather you're committed to a new pair and the used ones around can be very rough.  Just my somewhat related experience from way back.  My apologies for intruding on the OP.

Herb thank you for your detailed replied.  It is certainly nice to know there are some valid choices among the current  made LS35a 's.  Btw I plan on  buying new unless I find a great deal on a local speaker.  


Riaa,  if you could post your thoughts once you breakin the Graham and the Rogers SE I would appreciate it.  I know the Graham has a great following and I am anxious to hear more from users of the SE.  

proud owner of two sets of vintage 15ohm swisstone rogers one on top of the other,  pushed in series by a BAT VK 75SE + 50SE. Voice coming out of it is so real it spooks me and the cat.

Hello, I have collected LS3/5a speakers for the last 30 yrs.  I have owned numerous pairs and still have a few.  Currently, I have a pair of Rogers setup on a tube amplifier with 805 power tubes 45 watts per channel. I have a friend who is very serious and deep into hifi audio and is mostly into current production items, not vintage components. He’s been to lots of hifi shows and dealer demo rooms.  He owns expensive components along with IC cables that retail for $2,500.  He says, my Rogers setup is one of the best sounds he’s ever heard regardless of price.  I’ve never heard Falcon speakers but I did purchase a pair of their crossovers 5 yrs ago.  I have personally found, the best sounding LS3/5a speakers ever produced use the Rifa capacitors in their crossovers.  They are silver/blue looking.  Every other LS3/5a speaker that uses other caps do not sound as transparent.  

BTW, only the 15ohm versions were the best sounding and only 15ohm used the Rifa capacitors.  There was only a few years in production where Rogers, Chartwell, Goodman, Audio Master, Ram used the Rifa caps.  Rogers used them in the late 1970’s. Rogers early production LS3/5a speakers are not the best sounding but are the most valuable.  Since I am mostly a Rogers LS3/5a collector, I do not know the time period where other manufacturers used the Rifa caps inside their LS3/5a speakers but I have seen it in some of there models.  Years ago, Chartwells were highly sought after by Asians and I believe it was because some, not all Chartwells contained the Rifa caps.  I was a member of a forum many years ago put together by the son of one of the engineers who designed the BBC LS3/5a and we talked about this issue 25yrs ago of why do some LS3/5a’s sound better than others.

No problem.  Ive been into hifi audio for around 30yrs and I still remember that one of the best sounds I ever heard was from a pair of Rogers driven by the Cary 805 mono tube amps.  I’ve heard a lot of systems and still love the midrange from the late 70’s Rogers.  Everyone has a certain sound that is for them. 

I have extensive experience with the Rogers and would not consider any other make. If you can find a pair in good shape by all means go for it. On stands with a pair of subwoofers and a properly treated room you can have a 90% system. The last 10% will cost you $100K. 

The new Roger’s “special edition” aka gold badge are by far the best (and most $$$). Try listening to all of them. The chartwell’s /vintage sell for the most because their vintage, but of the new ls3/5a’s the Roger’s se’s take the cake! Add an audio research i50, and you have as close to “perfection” as $$$ can get! (Or an allnic T-2000) but they’re $15,,000! Since they’re 15 ohm and have a slightly crisp sound, you definitely want to pair them with a high-quality tube amp. 

the ls3/5a's are indeed iconic speakers, but i would say in the present day there are many many more cost effective and better sounding mini monitors out there... so unless there is a nostalgia/classicism motivation here, i would go with little proacs, harbeths, vivids etc etc

Post removed 

I had chartwell Ls3/5as over 40 years ago and they were wonderful for their time.

I can't help wondering if their are better options today (I'd check out LSAs offerings) but if you want Ls3/5as here is a review of 4 different ones:



I have original Chartwells that were given to me, along with a NOS woofer.  They sound beautiful and if you get down to Orange County, CA you are welcome to listen for yourself.

I have the newer Rogers 15ohm LS3/5a’s, and am currently running them with a Sugden A21SE Sig.  TBH, they sound great with many amps, both tube and SS.